And Have Not Love
NOTES After releasing Enter the Worship Circle's electro-pop hybrid Village Thrift on Worship Circle Records, I began writing songs again (about April 2006). In reading scripture, I found my surroundings gave me a new lens of experience through which I started revisiting familiar scriptures. A recurring theme that I found in these new songs were themes of God's love and the love we should all have for those in the world around us. When Ben and Robin Pasley encouraged me to step out and record these songs on my first solo recording, they asked me to encapsulate what the over all theme of this project would be. After combing though the songs, I was able to pinpoint a passage in scripture that had profound influence on me during the song writing process. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks clearly to the motive in our hearts as believers. I've done a lot of things in my lifetime in the name of God, I've said a lot of things because I thought they were right or in the moment, needed to be heard, but the most challenging thing to me now is, if I do not do, say, act... or live out of love toward God and others, it is near worthless to God. People in our present day American culture often look for successful formulas for everything in order to see a profit for their endeavors. We can build a thousand Godly organizations, buildings, or whatever formulas we buy into, and even see fruit in it, but Paul raises a challenge to us in 1 Corinthians 13 with, but if love is not our motive and process, it does not count... or to put it more bluntly, we have failed. A few years ago I had this ongoing prayer/meditation/discussion with the Lord that was all about, why is there such a chasm between the people of God and those who do not know God? After praying about this for about 3 months and not coming away with an answer that brought peace to my heart, I got my answer that was SO obvious and in the foreground, that I'd missed it all together... LOVE. Love breaks down walls, love spans any chasm, love disengages conflict, love welcomes people through doors that were locked by our judgement, love gives us the equation that every one of us is a lost cause in our own damnable sin had God not so loved us. He sent His own Son-- Christ Jesus who loved us so, that He would lay down both holiness and glory to carry the profaneness of all humanity on His own body of the cross. And never gave up. And loved each person the entire way to His own death. And is well informed of and fully owns up to every one of my shortcomings because of the unfaltering resoluteness of His adopting love for me. So I'm pretty much humbled by God's love and I want to know how to love others the same way. I Corinthians 13 gives us a mode of operation, though not an express formula nor map for walking in God's love. We each know in our own hearts how much of our self that will need to die in order to walk out in and through love as redeemed children of God. The songs I've written for you are all inspired by my journey to understand how to walk forward in love, and in spite of being hurt by others, to find hope again by making the choice to move forward in God's love. I pray these songs invigorate your spirit with the word of God, from which these songs were all written. I pray that God's word, that cannot fail, will bear much fruit in your life and through these songs, His word would get locked into your heart to give you an anthem to sing for years to come. Oh yah, and love never fails. BIO Todd discovered his deep connection with music as a first language and so began writing and performing original compositions at an early age. After studying theory and classical music he went on to study jazz theory and improvisation at Baldwin Wallace College. He continued exploring the creative synergies between the creative processes of music composition and the visual arts, while earning his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. For over 15 years, Todd has collaborated and performed throughout the U.S. and traveled to Brazil with resident artists from his hometown of Cleveland, OH. Todd and his wife Laurel, enjoy creating multi-art events and gatherings where a fusion of electronica, dance, turntablism and multimedia are combined. Both locally and nationally he is pioneering a cultural intersection to unite diverse cultures through music to orchestrate harmony through creative collaboration, while fostering synergy between artists and a harmonious fusion of their indigenous art forms. Todd Berger is a recording artist featured on Worship Circle Record's electronic Village Thrift series that he pioneered alongside Ben & Robin Pasley (100 Portraits and Enter the Worship Circle), Ryan L. (Son Lux), and Dee Jay Doc (2% Milk). He is currently collaborating with Ben Pasley and Tony Vilgiate (Chainsaw Weasel) to transition Village Thrift into an online creative community where songwriters, dj's, and remixers can collaborate to develop and release new worship music to the public.